Kanye West caused a stunned reaction in the audience when he rushed the stage at this year Grammys, immediately after Beck won the Album of the Year award for “Morning Phase,” beating out Beyoncé’s self-titled album.
The stunt immediately reminded everyone of the moment at the 2009 Grammys when Kanye stormed onto the stage in the middle of winner Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech, announcing that the win really belonged to Beyoncé.
Various news channels assumed that West was satirizing himself this year. But, this was no joke. After the ceremony, West, with his wife Kim Kardashian at his side, explained:
“At this point, we tired of it. What happens is, when you keep on diminishing art, and not respecting the craft, and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you’re disrespectful to inspiration. We, as musicians, have to inspire people who go to work every day, and they listen to that Beyoncé album, and they feel like it takes them to another place.”
“Then they do this promotional event, and they’ll run the music over somebody’s speech, the artist, because they want commercial advertising. No. We not playing with them anymore. And by the way, I got my wife, my daughter, and I got my clothing line, so I’m not going to do nothing that would put my daughter at risk, but I am here to fight for creativity. That’s the reason why I didn’t say anything tonight. But you all knew what it meant when ‘Ye walked on that stage.”
West performed twice at Sunday night’s show, making a return after six years. He seems to have been holding a grudge against the Recording Academy ever since his 2003 album “Yeezus” was ignored during awards season. He continued:
“I’m 36 years old and I have 21 Grammys,” West said. “That’s the most Grammys of any 36-year-old. Out of all of those 21 Grammys, I’ve never won a Grammy against a white artist.
…So when the Grammys nominations come out, and ‘Yeezus’ is the top one or two album on every single list, but only gets two nominations from the Grammys, what are they trying to say? Do they think that I wouldn’t notice? Do they think that, someway, that I don’t have the power to completely diminish all of their credibility at this moment?”
Beck reacted to the incident in a polite, balanced manner. “You can’t please everybody, man,” he told Us Weekly after the Grammys. “I still love him and think he’s a genius. I aspire to do what he does.”